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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Melbourne
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    8

    Default Hide Glue Open Time

    So I decided to venture into the world of hide glue, mainly to do some chair restoration because I suspect some of these older chairs might give out and I want reversibility. I'm familiar with the process having seen instrument makers do it before, but never done it myself.

    I got a pack from Restorer's Choice and did some test runs. Gram weight 160-220, so not too high.

    I can't seem to get the open time beyond 60 seconds.

    I've watched all the youtube videos. Since this is a new experience, I'm fastidious with weights and temperature. I soaked the granules in 1 part glue to 2 part water by weight. I bring the glue to exactly 62-65 degrees C (142-145 F). I tried adding another part water (final ratio 1:3) to begin with. The open time is something close to 30 seconds. It was slightly cold that day ~15C/60F. So I try again, fresh batch, with ambient temperature ~20C/70F. This time, I begin with the same initial soak ratio of 1:2. I then gradually add more water to achieve a final heated ratio of 1:4, 1:5, 1:6 and 1:8. Even at 1:8 I'm getting an open time of at most, 60-80 seconds, depending on how thick I lay it on. Granted, at 1:4 it's roughly the consistency of maple syrup. But at 1:8 it's almost like a diluted water based paint. I also presume that glue strength will suffer at such low dilutions?

    45-60 seconds is sufficient for a small simple join. It's probably not possible to do a chair with 3-4 joins that I need to brush glue on, align, push in, mallet and clamp. I'll need 3-4 minutes at best.

    Am I missing something?

    The other consideration is, and assuming my understanding is correct, since hide glue is water soluble and its entire reversibility revolves around the presence of heat and water. I noticed while playing around with the glue that a gelled portion of glue will easily be softened and stick to a fresh part of glue. So in theory, I could brush on most of the glue and do a final quick "wetting layer" and wack the pieces together quickly after that. Or alternatively I could just put it together and re-heat the joins with a hair dryer once they're together to get it to re-liquify. But these don't appear to be a standard process from videos and descriptions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    403

    Default

    I found this post on fine woodworking that may help

    Hot Hide Glue and Long Assembly Time - FineWoodworking

    Can i ask, what do you use a glue pot? Looking to try hide glue myself soonish

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh
    Posts
    7,479

    Default

    Chris Parks pressed on the wrong button and does not need pictures.
    CHRIS

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks for the link. The only difference I can figure with the pure hot glue is that I didnít soak it overnight. Urea sounds like it will work but I also wonder how they manage to use it without additives?

    With the pot I just use a cheap wax pot. One of those for waxing hairs on your legs. Except my legs are already beautiful so I donít need it I fill it with 10mm of water and put the glue in a small glass jar inside so itís a double boiler and I keep the wax pot clean. But make sure to test the temp of the glue itself. Mine is 10-15C cooler than the water.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Another thing. Iíve seen a violin/cello get assembled where the belly needs to be glued to the sides. Itís done in one step. Thereís absolutely no way a single person could do that in a minute with a glue that lasts a minute. And this all happened hundreds of years ago in northern Italy where I presume heating was primitive. Thereís gotta be something Iím missing.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    4,270

    Default

    Whenever I have used hide glue I heat and hold it at about 80deg

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    861

    Default

    I've used hide glue quite a few times, no need to get technical.
    Mix it, check it, add water or more glue if needed, after 45 60 min if OK heat it.
    I use a rice cooker with only Cook and Warm settings.
    Just keep an eye on it and test stir with a icypole stick - which can also be used to apply.
    When it transforms into hot glue use it.
    I also use Restorers Choice, never a problem.
    Check out the Aussie guy on Woodworking Masterclass on youtube.
    He doesn't get technical.
    I followed his tips when I started out; never had a problem.
    Good luck.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by verawood View Post
    I've used hide glue quite a few times, no need to get technical.
    Mix it, check it, add water or more glue if needed, after 45 60 min if OK heat it.
    I use a rice cooker with only Cook and Warm settings.
    Just keep an eye on it and test stir with a icypole stick - which can also be used to apply.
    When it transforms into hot glue use it.
    I also use Restorers Choice, never a problem.
    Check out the Aussie guy on Woodworking Masterclass on youtube.
    He doesn't get technical.
    I followed his tips when I started out; never had a problem.
    Good luck.
    What sort of open time do you get? Once it gels the join loses most of its strength. I've tested a join with a slightly gelled glue and it doesn't really hold.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    861

    Default

    I've never actually timed it; bit I usually do hide glue in small batches; up to 4 max, with everything ready to go.
    Then my assembly space is chockers.
    You can keep it warm; if I wanted to keep it for quite some time I would leave it in the rice cooker on warm and position it close to the assembly area.
    I did a test mitre joint to start and no one can break it by hand, so my system works for me.
    BTW: I use plastic bags between my joints and assembly table; they can still be easily removed for up to 4 hours.
    You'll know when - the squeeze out is firm but not hard.
    The joint can be carefully moved if it is in clamps.

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